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The Italian Chapter: a fruitful dialogue on the future of the mission

The Ordinary Provincial Chapter of the Province of Italy was held over six days in April, from the 15th to the 21st. The gathering took place at the Convent of St Augustine and St Rita in Cascia (Perugia), with 29 friars in attendance representing all the members of the Italian Province. Among them were two friars from the Vicariate of Apurímac in Peru, an historic mission of the Italian Augustinians.

The Chapter opened with a meditation proposed by Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary of the Secretariat of the Synod, on the thesis of "Consecrated life: synodal experience as a response to the fragmentation of the contemporary world". The members - gathered together in the Basilica of St Rita - participated in the votive Mass of the Holy Spirit, which began with the singing of the Veni Creator, presided over by Card Grech and enlivened by the liturgical singing of the local Augustinian sisters.

Following the opening of the chapter sessions by the Prior General, as President of the Chapter, voting took place for the offices of the assembly, with an inaugural exhortation by the Prior Provincial-elect and a concluding colloquium. During vespers in the Minor Basilica, Fr Alejandro Moral Antón confirmed the Prior Provincial-elect, who made his profession of faith with an oath of fidelity and the symbolic handing over of the seal of the Circumscription.

"Faithful to history but open to new challenges"

Over subsequent days, Fr Alejandro introduced the work of the assembly, urging the Chapter members to underline the need for the Province to be faithful to the history of the Augustinians of Italy while, at the same time, being "open to the new challenges proposed by the Church and the Order, preserving and relaunching that synodal style which represents the peculiarity of our fraternal life".

Fr Emilio Vargas Bejarano, Superior of the Augustinian Vicariate of Apurímac, gave a presentation on the mission of the Augustinians of Italy in the Peruvian Andes, describing the present situation of the circumscription, changes over the past four years, and the challenges that remained.

During the Chapter, the members of the Council, the Bursar, and the Secretary of the Province were also elected for the new four-year term to 2028. The new Council is composed of Fr Pasquale Cormio, Fr Juraj Pigula, Fr Massimo Giustozzo and Fr Michele Falcone; the Bursar is Br Antonio Giuseppe Masi; and the Provincial Secretary is Fr Christian Iorio.

In memoriam

On the fourth day the celebration was presided over by Fr Pasquale Cormio in memory of Blessed Andrew of Montereale, and prayers of suffrage were offered in memory of our confreres who had died in the last four years. 

As the Chapter progressed, its work focused on the sharing and discussing a number of different proposals, the fruit of the dialogue in the commissions and in the assembly, which were then voted on. With the recitation of the closing prayer, taken from the Ritual Book of the Order, Father General declared as concluded the work of this VIII Ordinary Chapter of the Province of Italy.

At the end, the members of the Chapter proceeded to the Basilica of St Rita for the closing Mass of thanksgiving, presided by the Prior Provincial, Fr Gabriele Pedicino. The celebrants passed before the urn in solemn procession to thank the saint for the work just completed and for the atmosphere of fraternity. The common prayer once again invoked St Rita, woman of forgiveness, and entrusted to her the next four years of common life, fraternity and mission.



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